Sixers 4 guidos

The first italian Sixers blog

Experiencing new ways of losing

Posted by Ricky - Sixers4guidos on November 25, 2007

capt_28abdce01a8c4145b837c844f997da8a_warriors_76ers_basketball_patm107.jpgI don’t know which hurts more, getting buried under -30 deficits or letting a game slip out of your hands like this. Kinda like “pick your poison”, I guess.

Sixers could, and should, have won last night, instead the Golden State Warrios somehow pulled out a 100-98 OT win at the Wachovia Center. The seventh loss in our last eight games combined with Knicks’ W over Chicago puts us at the bottom of the Atlantic, with a 3-9 record (25%).

It was a weird, enjoyable, even fun game, that started very well and ended in the worst way. The turn was pretty impressive. Sixers first half was simply fantastic: in the first quarter we started knocking down 7 of our first 8 shots and at 19-6 all Sixers had already scored a basket.

I saw Dalembert assisting Reggie Evans for a lay up and Reggie Evans returning the favor few plays after that (!), I saw Sixers’ big men patroling the paint and intimidating the opponents blocking and changing their shots, I saw Andre Miller and Lou Williams leading the team and making shots like we would like to see every night, I saw Sixers scoring 14 points on fastbreaks (0 for the GSW), I saw Willie Green dishing out five assists in less than 24 minutes.

I repeat: I SAW WILLIE GREEN GIVING FIVE ASSISTS in the first half. It’s not a typo.

Our 57-45 half time lead was a result of all these facts combined. Of course the Warriors did their part, shooting 32% for the field (14/43) and being outrebounded 19-29 (but read until the end…). The only player to keep them in the game was Monta Ellis, who came off the bench to score 16 points.

The reality check came at the beginning of the third. A 15-2 Golden State run gave them the first lead at 59-60, with Baron Davis and the red hot Ellis doing most of the damage. Iguodala and Miller went to work then, and Sixers closed the quarter leading 76-75. Ellis had already 27.

I think the key factor in the fourth were Warriors’ offensive rebounds. Sixers simply forgot to box out, Biedrins scored 7 consecutive points and Golden State built multiple 4 point leads, at 80-84, 84-88, 86-90.  Carney’s fastbreak dunk (his only basket in another pitiful performance…) cut it to 88-90, but Rod couldn’t complete the three point play, so it was Iguodala with a couple from the line to tie the game at 90-90, with 2.12 to go.

Neither team scored until the end. Dalembert, a 74% foul shooter last year, launched two scaring bricks from the line with 33.6 to go, Stephen Jackson missed a baseline jumper with 7.4 to play, and Iguodala misfired on a fallaway jumper at the buzzer. It was not the kind of play I would like to run to win a game, honestly. Sixers shot 3/16 in the fourth, Golden State 7/22….

In the overtime an unbelievable “up & under” circus shot by Baron Davis put Golden State up three, 90-93, then Andre Miller and Lou Williams replied. The two teams came to the last possessions with completey different state of minds. Confused and agitated the Sixers, calm and organized the Warriors.

It’s true Iguodala beat the shot clock to give us a 98-97 edge with 13.4 seconds to go, but this basket came after a poor ball management in the possession: Iggy made an “instinct” play to score on that tough runner. Before, and in the previous possession too, he nearly caused two turnovers trying unlikely assists: first a pass to Dalembert’s ankle, then a nonsense alley oop that Sam couldn’t catch.

You put these besides his last, forced shot at the end of the regulation and you could question his capacity of taking the right decision in clutch moments. (But hey, he finished with 26+11+4, so don’t be hard on him this time, he played very well overall).

Another question is: is there a coach on the bench to draw plays, or at least call them? It loooks like there is not. Or that players don’t listen to him. Maybe they don’t execute. I don’t know 

The point is they seem to be lost when the game is on the line and don’t know what to do, with or without the ball. Lou Williams’ final shot (or attempt of a shot, in the picture) is another bad sign.  I’m not blaming the young guy there, maybe he was pushed a little bit, but anyway… it would have been another improvisation and not a planned play.

Warriors, on the other end, always knew what to do, particularly Baron Davis. It took him only 4 seconds, and a STRONG drive to the basket, to score the 96-97, and another penetration and a kick out pass to Kelenna Azubuike in the corner for the deciding shot, the three that set the score at 98-100 with 6 seconds on the clock.

Guess who was supposed to guard Azubuike? Willie Green, who went towards the paint trying to help Miller, and left his man open on the perimeter. He didn’t learn anything from the Hornets game (remember? When his man, Mo Peterson, drained 6 three pointers on us…). You come to some conclusion.

Final considerations.

The total of boards at the end is Warriors 54, Sixers 47. If you recall what I wrote above, this means we got outrebounded 35-18 in the second half + overtime. By the Golden State Warriors? Yes… Evans played only 22 minutes (9 boards), Jason Smith only 11. I have a problem with this.

We lost by two points and missed 13 free throws, shooting 65%. I don’t care that Golden State did only slightly better (21/31, 67%), I cannot describe how this gets on my nerves. And it costs us games.

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4 Responses to “Experiencing new ways of losing”

  1. sixers29 said

    that’s unbelievable: “I SAW WILLIE GREEN GIVING FIVE ASSISTS in the first half”
    I think Jason Smith played only 11 minutes because he has problems with his right ankle. By the way, I want to see Shavlik Randolph playing some minutes.

  2. yeah it was good to have Shav back but I honestly don’t think it will be so much of a difference with him, he’s a good guy but he’s a 10th man in the NBA

    you are right, Smith was bothered by an injury, correct

  3. I think Golden State has to be on both ends of an 11-2 run (or similar runs) more than any other team in the league. It’s not surprising or unexpected to see them fall a team early, or to blow out a team early, only to have things even out by the fourth. They are the truest definition of a spurt team.

    Iguodala’s decision making will improve with experience. Or so you have to hope. He’s been “the man” for less than a full season. Baron Davis has been “the man” on his teams for most of his NBA career.

    The Dalembert pass, however, was more indictive of his passing skills, and where he needs to improve. He’s great at looking to pass (hence, the high assist numbers for a guard/forward), but he also passes poorly from what little I have seen, hence his high turnover rate (he’s got to be in the top-5 in turnovers this year!). Hopefully he’ll cut down on those turnovers without losing his instinct to look to pass…

  4. very good points SML

    being a half full type of guy, I would like to believe in what you said about Iguodala instinct to pass instead of thinking that he’s afraid to take responsabilities, LOL

    just kidding, he scored the game winner vs Portland few days ago :-)

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